An American tourist injured by falling into the crater of Vesuvius after taking a selfie | Italy

An American tourist was slightly injured after falling into the crater of Vesuvius as he rushed to retrieve his phone.

The 23-year-old and his family reached the 1,281m (4,202ft) summit of the volcano which overlooks the southern Italian city of Naples, after rounding a visitor turnstile and following a path prohibited.

The man was taking a selfie, according to local media, when his phone slipped from his hand and into the mouth of the volcano. He then descended into the crater in an attempt to retrieve his phone, only to fall several meters after losing his balance.

Vesuvius guides were the first on the scene and abseiled into the crater to get it out. Police attended the scene and a mountain rescue helicopter was launched to assist in the rescue operation.

The man was treated for cuts and bruises to his arms and back.

The tourist and his three relatives face charges after being flagged by police for invading public land. The group, which would have ventured on the volcano without any ticket, took a path clearly marked as being prohibited because extremely dangerous.

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In September 2017, an 11-year-old boy and his parents died after falling into the crater of Solfatara di Pozzuoli, one of 40 volcanoes in the Campi Flegrei region west of Naples. The boy is thought to have passed out from the gas fumes before falling into the crater. His parents tried to save him but the crater collapsed.

Mount Vesuvius, which destroyed the ancient Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum when it erupted in AD 79, is considered one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world due to its proximity to Naples and other cities neighbours.

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